Rams beginning to kick on under boss McClaren
Sky Bet Championship
Sky Sports 1, 12.30pm
The Sky Bet Championship season is 15 games old but Wolves and Derby already find themselves in the midst of rebuilding.
The Rams have encouraged former England boss Steve McClaren back to Pride Park and he has had four games to take stock and see how he can drag one of the most fancied teams in the division out of the bottom six.
Wolves, meanwhile, head into today’s game under caretaker boss Rob Edwards following the end of Walter Zenga’s brief Molineux tenure.
The fact the former Italy goalkeeper departed after just 17 games when he was brought in shortly after the club was taken over by Fosun International suggests any new manager may not get long to prove himself.
Wolves Caretaker boss Rob Edwards is set to make a change in goal with Andy Lonergan replacing the injured Carl Ikeme.
Derby Midfielder Will Hughes is available after suspension while Craig Bryson, Jason Shackell and Max Lowe all face late fitness tests. Nick Blackman is out after knee surgery.
So they are in limbo and with Derby being spurred by a 2-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday last week, better times could be around the corner for the Rams.
Optimism should be taken by their defensive displays more than anything.
While Derby have collected just 17 points from their 15 games, they have conceded only 11 goals, which is one fewer than leaders Newcastle and a total that only Brighton can claim to better.
The lack of goals at the other end has been the big concern – they have netted nine times which is the lowest number of goals any team have scored in the division.
Their win over the Owls was only the second occasion they have scored more than one goal in 18 league and cup matches this season.
But Derby’s shots-on-target statistics are not that bad. Their tally of 57 is the 13th highest in the division so it could be concluded that the goals will start to come if that tally is maintained.
Wolves have won two of their last 11 Championship matches
The last four meetings between these Midlands foes, who were 12-1 and 14-1 to win the Championship at the start of the season, have yielded 16 goals.
But that looks unlikely to continue. Only one of Derby’s league matches has featured more than two goals and they have conceded just twice in their last six outings.
Wolves have scored four times in their last six matches – one was a penalty – but with the odds of under 2.5 goals looking prohibitive, it is worth taking a chance on the visitors.
1pt 19-10 general